Bageshwar is a city and a municipal board in Bageshwar district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is also the administrative headquarters of Bageshwar district. The town is situated on the confluence of Gomti river with Sarju river which is a tributary of Sharda or Kali river and joins Kali at Pancheswar. (This Sarju river is not the same Sarayu river on whose bank Ayodhya is situated. This Gomti river is also not the same Gomti river on whose bank Lucknow is situated.)
It is 150 km (93 mt) from Nainital city and 470 km (290 mt) from Delhi. The nearest airport is at Pantnagar, 180 km (110 mt) away to the south in Nainital district. The nearest railhead is Kathgodam, 160 km (99 mt) away to the south in Nainital district reached via Almora town (75 km (47 mt)). Tanakpur 230 km (140 mt) away to south-southeast near the border with Nepal is another railhead.
Places Around Bageshwar:
There are many places of tourism and historic importance in Bageshwar. There are many old temples dating back to tenth century. Among them are the Baijnath temple and Bagnath Temple; the latter is situated in the middle of the town just across the confluence of Saryu and Gomti. Chandika and Neeleshwar temples are other important temples in the district. These are on the top of the city (hills) and provide a nice glimpse of the city.
Other important shrines in and around Bageshwar are - Ram Ghat temple, Agnikund temple, Kukuda Mai temple, Shitla Devi temple, Trijugi Narayan temple, Hanuman temple, Nileshwar Dham, Swarg Ashram, Ramji temple, Loknath Ashram, Ashram of Amitji, Jwala Devi temple, Veni Mahadev temple, Radha Krishna temple, Bhileshwar Dham, Suraj Kund, Siddartha Dham, Gopeshwar Dham, Golu temple, Praktishwar Mahadev, Pindari Glacier, Pindari Glacier Trek, Sunderdhunga Glacier, Sunderdhunga Glacier Trek.
Functions And Festivals:
- Kanda 25 km (16 mt): The charming site on Bageshwar Chaukori road near the ancient temple of Bhadra Kali temple is a nature lover's delight. Another sacred site, Pandusthal, said to be the legendary battle ground of the Kaurvas and Pandavas, is near Kanda.
- Vijaypur 30 km (19 mt): It affords a panoramic view of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks.
- Baijnath 26 km (16 mt): This historical and pilgrimage site on Gwaldam motor road is set on the banks of river Gomti in Katyuri valley. It was once the capital of Katyuri dynasty and the ancient temples here stand in testimony of the erstwhile era. The ancient Shiva temple here is famous for the magnificent idol of Goddess Parvati. Another important shrine is the Kotkimai temple, 8 km (5.0 mt) from here.
The functions and festivals of Kumaun are not only an expression of the religious social and the cultural urges of the people but have also sustained the folk culture and have been central to the economic activities of the people. Also at remotely located places of hilly terrain, especially where communication is difficult and the land is cut up by mountain or water, the need is felt for periodical meetings at convenient centers, where exchange and sale of commodities may take place. A district like Bageshwar holds many valleys which are absolutely dependent on such meetings for their supply of common necessaries, and consequently fairs or periodical markets are numerous. There are two kind of these. The weekly assemblages, corresponding to "market-day" in an English provincial town, are called "Penth". They are of an ordinary kind, and have no religious associations.
The great annual fairs are known by the name of "Mela", and are always connected with religious ideas and customs. They very often center round some famous local shrine, which reaps an extensive harvest at the annual festival. Business, pleasure and religion are cheerfully combined in these junketing, which are doubtless the chief oases in the monotonous lives. The following main festivals and functions are observed in Kumaun
- Vishuvati Alias Bikhauti
- Vat Savitri Amavasya
- Harishayani Ekadashi
- Simha Or Ghri Sankranti
- Sankasht Chaturthi
- Haritali Fast
- Nanda Ashtami
- Uttaraini Festival